Students in Tiffany Deegan’s fourth grade classroom at James Russell Lowell School 51 are learning about genetics in a unique way.

They’ve spent the last week learning about dominant and recessive genes and how different traits are passed through generations.

Now the students are taking it a step further and creating caterpillars that have specific traits based on information they gathered about traits from their caterpillar’s parents.

“I feel it’s important for our students to begin to understand some of the common traits we share with members of our family and how these dominant and recessive genes are passed from generation to generation,” says Deegan.

“I didn’t know a lot about DNA before,” says Ashley, a student in Deegan’s class. “It’s been fun to learn about the different types of traits and put the caterpillars together.”

This activity lays the groundwork for a basic knowledge in genetics. The students will now take what they know and apply it to learning about survival of the fittest.